In a once rumored memo sent out to Cast Members, Disney officially confirmed the permanent closures of three of their theme park attractions. Stitch’s Great Escape at Magic Kingdom, along with Rivers of Light and Primeval Whirl at Animal Kingdom, have all officially closed.
It comes as no surprise that Stitch’s Great Escape is officially closed because the attraction itself has been temporarily closed for quite some time now. It was rumored that this attraction would be transformed to fit the Wreck-it-Ralph storyline, but this has obviously either been delayed or cancelled. In the past few years this space has doubled as a meet-and-greet area for Stitch and extra parking for strollers, so we truly saw this one coming.
However, Rivers of Light and Primeval Whirl are sort of a surprise to many. Primeval Whirl has come off of all virtual maps within the My Disney Experience app along with in-person maps at Animal Kingdom. It is usually a seasonal ride, but has been proven to be very problematic in the past because of frequent ride breakdowns. Many are thinking that this closure will lead to a remodel of the outdated Dinoland U.S.A area of Animal Kingdom, but there is no confirmation of this being true.
Rivers of Light, Animal Kingdom’s nighttime spectacular show, did not return upon reopening, but this was in lieu of all firework and nighttime presentations being cancelled due to the Coronavirus. There have been rumors that this show would be replaced with something similar to the EPCOT Forever nighttime show by next year, so it seems as though this has just been implemented earlier than planned.
These closures, along with the cancellation of the refurbishment of Spaceship Earth and the building of the Mary Poppins ride, is expected with the budget cuts The Walt Disney Company has made because of the pandemic. We will probably not get any new attractions or shows in the theme parks for a while, but let’s hope that nothing else closes or gets cancelled in the mean time!
If you are missing these rides, check out the videos linked below to feel some nostalgia: